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Keith Pottorff found guilty on all counts

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Keith Pottorff found guilty on all counts
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A Cortland County man has been found guilty of brutally murdering his wife, leaving her body hidden in a shed while he went to a music festival. The jury returned with the guilty verdict Thursday. Our Tamara Lindstrom was there.

CORTLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- The home on Dog Hollow Road looks the picture of rural bliss in mid-summer 2012. But the peaceful looking property became the scene of a horrific crime.

"You see, she was tied with her hands behind her back. And that was connected to her ankles. When she moved her ankles, her hands would move. And then from her hands to her neck. So that if she moved her hands or her ankles, it would constrict. She would choke herself to death if she struggled," said District Attorney Mark Suben.

Janet Pottorff, a 53-year-old nurse, was discovered in a shed behind her house on July 20th, 2012. On Thursday, jurors convicted her husband, Keith Pottorff, 44, of her murder, as well as possession of stolen property, forgery and possessing a forged instrument.

"We're very gratified. I think truly, justice was done in this case," Suben said.

Over seven days of testimony, prosecutors showed evidence that Pottorff killed his wife, then stole her checkbook and debit card, as well as her jewelry. He went on a three day drug and alcohol binge before being picked up by police at the Grass Roots music festival.

Pottorff admitted to taking the money. He said he argued violently with his wife over his drug use, but denied any involvement in her death.

After five hours of deliberations, the jury didn't buy it.

Suben said, "He tortured her. I've never seen it before, something like this. He should not be walking free."

The District Attorney plans to ask for the maximum sentence on all charges, to be served consecutively, meaning Pottorff could spend 30-and-a-half years to life in prison.

Pottorff's attorney was not available for comment. The DA credits his staff and state police with solving the case.

Sentencing is scheduled for next month.

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